After Vidarbha’s historic win in the Ranji Trophy Final against Delhi early last month, the new domestic season began this week with the start of the Vijay Hazare Trophy which will be played between February 5th – 26th February 2018. The tournament will not only give the youngsters a chance to impress the national selectors but will also be a platform for those squad and fringe players to make a return into the Indian team. Tamil Nadu are the defending champions and will have veterans Murali Vijay and R Ashwin in their squad as they look to defend their title.
Here we look at 5 batsmen we should watch out for in the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy
Unmukt Chand (Delhi)
An U19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand is in tremendous form right now, and will prove to be a very important cog in the Delhi wheel for this tournament. He scored a blistering hundred against Uttar Pradesh in the Delhi’s opening group game but what made the knock so special was that he did it with a jaw that had been broken just minutes before the game in the nets. Chand is very talented player, who has at times struggled to justify the hype that had surrounded him in his U19 days. If he can continue scoring runs, who knows he might sneak back into the Indian team at some point.
Yuvraj Singh (Punjab)
Harbhajan Singh will be leading the Punjab team in the tournament, and Yuvraj Singh will be deputising him. The man who has been a rock in the Indian team for so many years is currently struggling to find his way back into the national side and the prestigious 50 over tournament will give him a perfect chance to show that he can still per\form at the highest level, making him one of the top 5 batsmen in Vijay Hazare trophy.-*/ In the recently held IPL auction, the 36-year-old was bought by Kings XI Punjab for his base price amount of INR 2 crores.
Shubman Gill (Punjab)
Another Punjab player who features on this list is the U19 World Cup’s second highest run-getter Shubman Gill. The youngster was brilliant throughout the tournament as he took India all the way to final with 3 fifties and 1 hundred at an unbelievable average of 124.00. Gill might not play in the initial few matches but will definitely come into the side as one of the top 5 batsmen, as soon as his batteries are recharged. His hero Yuvraj Singh will be with him in the Punjab dressing room, which gives him the perfect chance to learn as much as he can from the man who hit Stuart Broad for 6 sixes in an over.
Ishan Kishan (Jharkhand)
Another young batting sensation who is capturing the attention of the public with one good performance after another. The 19-year-old will be leading the Jharkhand side this year in the absence of MS Dhoni. Last month he was bought by the Mumbai Indians for a whopping INR 6.2 crores at the IPL auction following his 319 runs in the last season of IPL. Although Jharkhand lost their opening match to Vidarbha, it was Kishan who was fighting till the end to reach the target. He will definitely be one of the 5 batsmen to watch out for in this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Prithvi Shaw (Mumbai)
2018 U19 World Cup winning captain Prithvi Shaw returned with his team back in India this week and with just a few days of rest, he will join up with the Mumbai squad, which started its campaign with a 74-run win against Madhya Pradesh. The 18-year-old has been in fine form for the past one year, he scored a quite a few tons in the Ranji Trophy and will be looking to start the new season with the bang, as one of the top 5 batsmen, now that he has fulfilled a lifelong dream of lifting the World Cup.